Sunday, May 31, 2009

Any Old Port In A Storm

There is an old saying: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Case in point: my friend WAMK is willing to ally himself with Pravda and Ted Rall in his effort to trash our President.

Completely unfair but amusing conclusion: It's not that WAMK wants a communist dictatorship or an America ruled by extreme left-wing doctrine, just that he'd prefer them to a successful Obama term. Seems reasonable to me! AND Ralph Nader!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Don't Trust Things From Chicago

Word had it that popular Chicago radio personality "Mancow" may have faked his own waterboarding. I'm disappointed because he had come to the conclusion that it really is torture, which was a reversal from him. Still, we have Christopher Hitchens, whose waterboarding was authentic, and he came to the same conclusion.

Hannity need to be the tiebreaker on this one, I think.

Another Reason That Rush Should Be Acknowledged

Acknowledged as the leader of the Republican Party, that is.

If I were a novelist, I'd have made that character leader because it's good foreshadowing. His last name sounds just like Limbo, you see. Subconsciously it prepares the reader for how the Republican characters are going to spend the next several years.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Sitcom From An Alternate Universe

But weirdly, it's a lot like our own.

One Thing I Was Able To Tease Out Of My Friend At the Embassy

I brought up the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal, and he confirmed what I always thought - observers outside the US thought the reaction to it was weirdly out of scale. Tabloid attention, maybe even a word in congress condemning Clinton's behavior, but impeachment? Nobody out of the reach of Fox News even understands how that happened.

Proves to me that news bias CAN be dangerous.

Crazy Far-Left Moonbat Gives Unwanted Advice

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Speaking of the court, I'm disappointed in our own California Supremes for upholding the Gay Marriage ban vote of last year, even though they at least allowed those married couples to remain married.

I won't pretend to be able to judge this on its legal merits so I defer to the court's judgement on whether it's a sound decision. I remain uncomfortable with the idea that as a society we can vote on who gets human rights this year. Next year it will probably come up again and if there are cool Gays on TV we'll probably allow gay marriage. Then the following year if there is an unpopular Gay man, then we'll take the right away again.

Hey, the Jews got used to it, the Gays will too.

The Extreme Danger of Stocking The Court With Old White Males

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, in a written statement, said Tuesday he's concerned Sotomayor has shown "personal bias based on ethnicity and gender."

"Judge Sotomayor will need to reassure the country that she will set aside her biases, uphold the rule of law and interpret the Constitution as written, not as she believes it should have been written," said Smith, who will have no vote in the matter, as the confirmation is a Senate matter.

Fox News website, yesterday.

The ethnicity and gender of the Supreme Court as it stands now is a little... let's call it monolithic, shall we? One woman on the bench, and she's said to be retiring this year. Still, maybe the people criticizing Sotomayor have legitimate legal soncerns having nothing to do with her hispanicity.

Deferring to people's own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English (which is why the president stopped doing it after the first time at his press conference), unlike my correspondent's simple preference for a monophthong over a diphthong, and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn't be giving in to.

-Mark Krikorian, THE CORNER

Oh that big tent... there's a reason there's so much room in there. It's because they keep chasing out the hispanics, the blacks, the gays and anyone who voices an opinion they don't want to hear. Basically it's Rush and a bunch of people carrying Rush around.

Monday, May 25, 2009

This Shouldn't Have Kept Me Awake

7:22am PDT, en route to Los Angeles

More likely than not I had insomnia last night because it was the eve of travel. But the the thing that kept running through my mind was this: I blew the gag in my title on Wednesday.

The idea was, a joke concerning Shakespeare and gloves. My best association with gloves was Johnnie Cochrane's famous defense of OJ Simpson concerning that glove evidence, and my best association with Shakespeare is always iambic pentameter, the rhyme scheme that the sonnets are written in. Great concept, lousy execution because I wrote it in, I guess, “quantameter”? I used four beats when I should have used five. Ideally the title should have been something more like:

If the glove does not him truly fit
Then thou verily must he acquit.

It's a little long for a title, and I was still a little jet-lagged, so I suppose that's what made me think the original title worked. I hope to God that's not what was really keeping me awake though, because If I'm going to start worrying over the flaws in this blog so much that I lose sleep, well, I'll never sleep.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sun Sets On My Empire

At the intermission of WAITING FOR GODOT last night I met a girl who devoted a whole semester to it in college. "I'm so glad to meet you," I joked, "what the hell it it about?" She just shrugged. Its an impossible play which is why you need skilled actors to keep it alive for two hours. In this case it was Sir Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, who did the job admirably.

This is my last day in London. Tomorrow morning I board a big ol' jet airliner back to Los Angeles. I'm going to miss it but I'm realizing that I couldn't live in the city. London is the sister city of New York - it has the same relentless energy and it surely would drain the life outta me. Plus I'd be, you know, surrounded by foreigners. If I ever move to England, and I'd love to, I'd live in a less metropolitan area where I was the foreigner. "Look, it's that American chap," they'd say as I approached the pub. "I hope you remembered to cool off that beer for him."

Anyway, vacations always exhaust me and I'm looking forward to my old life, where I do the same things every day at the same time, cook my own food and am master of a tiny domain. Plus I'll enjoy the pleasant buzz of severe jet lag for a while. Happy bank holiday everyone!

(Pictures: the marquee on a cinema in Notting Hills; and the best directions ever. May I call your attention to the fifth one from the top?)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Local Boy Makes Good

Cognac is a sensualist's dream. You warm it up with your hands, then inhale and it assaults your nostrils. When you drink it, it's not how it tastes, it's how it feels, pleasantly burning your throat.

Cognac is especially good after a delicious homemade dinner served by gracious hosts. In this case Phil, our former classmate who is now a press attache to the US Embassy here. He's been in the business since the nineties, posted at a number of countries. My favorite, for the exotica of it, is Tunisia. Thankfully he's in London for the foreseeable future, which allowed me a chance to catch up with him, his lovely wife, and his two bilingual sons.

For a political junkie like me, it's disappointing that Phil has strong diplomatic training, because he wouldn't take any bait I threw to him to trash his boss or former bosses. Too bad, because bloggers live for stuff like that. The best I could get out of him is that he disagrees with me about the efficacy of Twitter; I think it's just dopey, he likes it and has found it useful.

He did say that the embassy is moving from Grosvenor Square in five years or so to someplace a little farther out of town (I can't remember where, and I'd heard it also on one of the walking tours) but he is puzzled by the reaction to it. It's true that the area is industrial and underdeveloped now, but as Phil wryly put it, "We're the anchor store." In five years time the place will be crowded with Burger Kings and Starbucks and Gaps. Just like Grosnevor square now, come to think of it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Game Is Afoot

Today's activity was the Sherlock Holmes walking tour. My feet are tired. Every time I go on a vacation I reach the point where I vow to never take a tour again, just hang out at Starbucks all day long only in a different place than usual. I think I'll float that idea for tomorrow. All we got booked is a show in the evening.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

J.L., Bird

I want to take a moment before I go to bed to comment ok the ubiquity of Joanna Lumley in this country. She's on the news spearheading a campaign to redress the brave Gherkas who fought on Britains side during WW II. then she turns up on an episode of THE NEW AVENGERS from the early seventies.

They can't stop talking about her. I wouldn't be surprised if she's an MP by 2010. Though the way things are this week, I can be.

If The Glove Does Not Him Fit, Surely Then Thou Must Acquit **Updated W/Pics**

I'm chilling out after that most exhausting of travel activities, the bus tour. Today we went out of the reach of the tube to both Shakespeare's birthplace and Warwick Castle, both potent indictments of my own country's failure to produce more than three hundred years of recorded history.

Man, were they touristy! Shakespeare's birthplace presently sits across from Iago Jewelers and adjacent to a very nice gift shop. There is also a big garden on the spot where probably 2 other houses of similar size once stood. There's a nice place to get a Subway sandwich down the street and some decent Italian further. Fun fact takeaway about Shakespeare - his father was a wealthy glove-maker. Unlikely supposition: Shakespeare wore a t-shirt that said "I Hearteth Stratford-On-Avon."

(note the gorgeous weather in that picture! An hour later it was raining, hard; five minutes after that, gorgeous again. It's how the land stays green and verdant.)

Warwick Castle used to be home to King Henry the 8th, and is now an amusement park that smells like a thousand years of urine on the inside. They charge extra for a peek at the dungeon. In the castle itself, rooms are inhabited by waxwork dummies in action poses. King Henry only appears once, and this is admirable restraint considering he is everyone's favorite. They also have a mighty good young Winston Churchill, who I can add to the list of great men who were shorter than I. Fun fact takeway - as a young man, Churchill was pretty hot. Unlikely supposition: King Henry posed once with all six of his wives for a waxwork sculpture.

I'm too tired to upload the pictures, which are in my camera upstairs. Please feel free to envision.

**Update** okay, I have uploaded pictures.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Never Before Has a Boy Wanted More

Well, we've decided we didn't care for OLIVER either. The girl who played Nancy, who was picked off a reality show, could sing but not so much with the acting; Rowan Atkinson was merely as good a Fagin as I was and Burn Gorman's Bill Sykes couldn't shine our Bill's shoes. And of course the directing was a pale ghost of the show that Justine commanded. There are those who would consider this to be a biased judgment on our parts, but those people would be mistaken.

By the way, look at that logo. Is it my imagination or is this actually just a pale ripoff of the logo for Pizza Hut? Which serves, by the way, a pale imitation of pizza itself.

Torchwood continues to haunt me. The day I couldn't find the building they use in the show I DID find a copy of John Barrowman's biography at a bookstore. Then I discover as I read my program that Bill Sykes is played by Burn Gorman, a Torchwood cast member. He played the character who died early in series two but remained on the show an animated corpse for a very long time afterward. At this point I'd be very surprised if I'm not carried off by a pterodactyl after dinner.

In The Bank, Large Amounts

I'm waiting to meet friends for a matinée of OLIVER! starring Rowan Atkinson as Fagin. It's the role I made famous in high school.

We have been hearing that everyhing is so expensive in London, but it's not true. The recession rewards those crazy enough to travel by forcing discounts. Even Gordon Ramsey is said to be offering a little fixed price faire.

In other words if you've just been laid off and you're too depressed to start looking for work yet, come on down!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Almost Nothing Changes

I just spend the morning wandering around the Canary Wharf area, looking for TORCHWOOD headquarters. I failed. Perhaps the building was hidden using some scavenged alien tech.

So my adventure today amounted to an extended Mall walk, which is a pleasant enough way to spend a day off. Now I'm sitting in the Gloucester Arcade,a tube stop and the one place I know where I can find reliable free wireless. I'm also ogling this skinny blonde who runs a fashion kiosk. Which is kind of crazy. Where I come from, skinny blondes are given away in Crackerjack boxes.

Well, I guess I'll get back to the hotel and see if there are any messages.



Just to give you an idea of how British I've become in the short time I've been here, I was woken by a nightmare this morning. In it, I was appearing on a quiz show. I kind of knew the rules and I was playing adequately, but I felt that I was a little clumsy and I was frightfully embarrassed for wasting people's time.

I'm certain that this dream was sparked by a real BBC quiz show I had seen yesterday. I couldn't tell you what it is called but the setup is: a spokesmodel pulls a series of random letters out of a bin and two contestants vie to complete the longest word with them. It fascinated me. For one thing, the execution was very low tech. Letters out of a bin? Two bins actually, one for consonants and one for vowels. But the only remotely flashy thing on the set is a giant clock, which counts the 30 seconds during which the contestants pick their words.

The set consists of the giant clock and a semicircular desk. At the far right of the arc sits a distinguished host (they're called “presenters” here) then there is a considerable space until the middle of the arc, where the two contestants sit; then more space and at the far other end, two young attractive judges with a stack of dictionaries. Only one of them, the girl, appears to be doing any actual work. She looks up the word, then tells one of the contestants, “unfortunately 'featured' is not spelled with two e's, but with an 'ea'. I'm so sorry, be we'll have to disallow that.” The guy shrugs and makes a polite quip.

Obviously this show has been on since the late forties.

Looking at it with fresh American eyes, I'm mystified by a few things. One, what's with all the space? Is the set also used for another quiz show that has more people? And with all that space, why keep the contestants so close together where they can see each other's word? Isn't there some better use of screen time during the thirty second countdown than shots of the players hunched over their index cards interspersed with shots of the research girl hunched over another index card and the presenter hunched over yet ANOTHER index card? And what the hell is he doing? What's on that card?

In America we'd at least make the clock digital. The host would be a 30 year old bodybuilder and the contestants would do a LOT more screaming. Especially since they'd be struggling to reach a keyboard to type in their words while being pelted with balloons and water cannons. Oh and no dictionaries. There'd be a paid plug for And no matter who chose the right word, you'd vote for the winner on your cell phone. They're called “mobiles” here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wuthering Depths

The picture behind me, I swear to God, is the first thing you see as you walk into the Grange Strathmore, which is where I and Bill are staying. Did Da Vinci invent x-ray spex too?

Had a very short day yesterday. Plane landed at 3 after a 10-hour flight, then it was two hours getting through immigration. I did the best I could, trying to flirt with women in the line maze, but it still quite a slog. I noticed that a lot of Asian women were wearing fliter masks, an indication that the Swine flu is still taken seriously in coutries where there haven't been any infections.

Anyway, then it was a pleasant tube ride on the Picadilly line to Grosnevor Station (other terminus: Cockfosters, though if my fellow passengers weren't smirking at the announcements neither would I) and then just a short hour and a half stroll as I attempted to naviagate to a hotel which I now know is 2 minutes away. I was going to count on my GPS device, but it had discharged somehow so I had to rely on, you know, MAPS. And helpful locals.

Incidentally, almost nobody who has a service job in this town is English. I'm really visiting Europe.

Anyway, after separate ordeals just getting to the hotel, combined with the jet lag, Bill and I managed a little dinner and got to bed.

Today we took a walking tour through Mayfair (like Beverly Hills with more history and less bad taste) visted with Justine our high school drama teacher, and finished up the day with our first big show, a Bollywood Musical version of Wuthering Heights. That's how they're selling it anyway, though I missed the crazy amped-up energy of your typical Bollywood offering. On the other hand, that would have been a pretty bad choice for telling that particular story, so maybe it all works out for the best. I was happy enough with the result; though maybe it was the jet lag or maybe it was the pacing but that first act could be a lot snappier.

Tomorrow, I make a pilgrimmage to Canary Wharf, known to tourists as a nice shopping area and to Torchwood fans as the location of a convenient trans-dimensional rift. In the future, everything changes!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Greetings From LAX

Yes hello from the airport that DWELL magazine calls the worst in the United States.

"It is best described as a collection of drab terminals 
connected by a traffic jam, which starts 
out on I-405 and coagulates on a circular drive that loops around the Landmark Theme Building," the magazine says, adding that the Theme Building, "looking like something a 1950s sci-fi set designer dreamed up, is LAX’s only architectural positive.
I'm no more surprised than LAX officials by this ranking. For years whenever I have arrived at any other airport I've ever been to, my first thought was, "wow, this terminal is cool!" It's only now that I realize that they're cool by comparison. I always check out Burbank airport first when making travel plans; and I'm always disappointed to learn that apparently there are no direct flights between Burbank and anywhere. Las Vegas, for example has two connecting flights and costs $350 from Burbank. From LAX it's 40 minutes and costs $100. Clearly some kind of anti competitive strategy is at work in this town.

Oh yeah. Flying to London for the week, thanks for asking. I got high school friends who have emigrated, specifically my drama teacher Justine and Smartest Guy In Class Phil, who was Ambassador to Tunisia and is now employed in Great Britain at our state department. If you get all your news from Fox you'll be surprised to learn that our president's trip to England last month went quite smoothly. I am looking forward to embassy food.

Hopefully I'll be too busy to blog, but compulsive graphomaniac that I am I wouldn't count on it.

By the way one thing I will say about LAX -- this is the first time I've ever been able to scar up free wireless access. It's probably just this terminal, but I/m grateful nonetheless. I'd have had to upload from the hotel otherwise!

Olberman Not as Funny As He Once Was.

Oh let's face it, he's losing his funny in a big way. I don't watch Keith any more, and it's not just because I don't have cable and barely ever watch any TV. Though come to think of it, those are fine reasons.

Here's what happened to KO. He had a light news show, mostly wry and often hilarious commentary about the dominant overlords of the times, Republicans. And it was great because no one else was doing that and Olberman maintained a perfect sarcastic tone all the way through. Then one night, he got sincere.

I don't remember what it was about, but he read his first "special commentary" and it was also great, because no one in the media was that angry about George Bush, even though an awful lot of people outside the media were. It was six solid minutes of righteous anger, and it was invigorating. Had Keith stopped there, I'd still be downloading the shows on Hulu.

But instead, the attention and ratings boost that came from that commentary practically forced another one, and then another. And gradually Keith Olberman has become Glenn Beck, a crazy foam-flecked emotional basked case. And self-important to boot, which is the kiss of death as far as comedy is concerned. Nobody goes to the Marx Brothers movies to see Margaret Dumont.

So I don't watch Olberman any more. I would enjoy Rachel Maddow if I had cable I guess, or the Daily Show. Come to think of it I might enjoy Glenn Beck, because that kind of thing IS great to watch if you can get a little schaudenfreude out of it. But Keith Olberman is dead to me.

Except once in a while when he's still kinda funny.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How To Find Out What Nancy Pelosi Knew

I'm having a little trouble following the motivation behind the right's attack of Nancy Pelosi concerning whether she KNEW about waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. I'm just a simple country lawyer but it seems a tad confusing. If I'm writing a screenplay, I'd have to throw this plotline out because the motivation doesn't make any sense.

IF YOU belive that torture is wrong, (I do! I do!) then the idea that Nancy Pelosi knew about it and did nothing to stop it is troubling. But on the other hand, what should she have done? She couldn't speak out because it was a classified program, and if she registered a complaint internally than it seems unlikely that it would have stopped the program. Ultimately if you believe that torture is wrong, you're not going after Pelosi, you're going after whoever authorized torture.

IF YOU believe that torture is just fine, the only way to protect the country against its enemies, then you go after Pelosi not for keeping silent about it then but for speaking out against it now. And to be clear about it, you preface your statements with "To her credit, Pelosi kept quiet about the program at the time even though she had points to gain." I mean, obviously she would have, otherwise why exploit public opinion against torture now?

However, the critics of Pelosi are trying to have it both ways, stirring up hatred of Pelosi for supporting torture without mentioning that they're pro-torture as well.

(By the way, the concept of being pro-torture in itself is pretty interesting. Couldn't have seen THAT as a public relations option before Bush-Cheney! Just one more innovation of the previous administration, along with all the ways of ensuring that the buck never, EVER stops here.)

Well, be careful what you wish for - demanding that Nancy Pelosi reveal what she knew then can only lead to investigations. And any investigation of that situation is unlikely to come to the conclusion that hey, you gotta commit a few crimes during war time and whatever anyone did is cool, as long as they don't lie about what they knew afterward. More likely it would lead to war crimes trials, and ain't no one saying Nancy committed any.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Non-Racism XI

Actually it's a misnomer to call this racism, because Judaism is a creed. But, you know.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A Republican candidate for Senate from Arkansas reportedly referred to Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer as "that Jew" during a recent appearance before a Republican group.

State Sen. Kim Hendren told The Associated Press Thursday that he was wrong to refer to Schumer's religious affiliation during a Republican committee meeting last week. Hendren said he doesn't remember the exact wording of his comment, but he was quoted by conservative blogger Jason Tolbert as calling Schumer "that Jew."

"I ought not to have referred to it at all," Hendren told the AP. "When I referred to him as Jewish, it wasn't because I don't like Jewish people... I shouldn't have gotten into this Jewish business because it distracts from the issue," Hendren said."
H/T to Wonkette. Thank GOD the dude didn't say anything belitting Limbaugh or he'd be trouble by now!

Remind Me To Smile

I spent a couple of nights this week, courtesy Netflix, reacquainting myself with Brian Wilson's almost-lost masterpiece SMILE. It's a beautiful album and a really, really interesting story.

Wilson, the troubled genius behind the Beach Boys, was basking in the glory of GOOD VIBRATIONS, a single which he had cobbled together from musical snippets while basking in the glory of PET SOUNDS, the album which had made everyone reconsider les garcons de la plage. As the more outgoing Beach Boys toured Europe, Wilson started writing an album using the same techniques as Good Vibrations, composing brilliant pieces with an eye towards sequencing them into songs later. It was to be called Smile.

He enlisted the aid of a squad of musicians along with weird genius Van Dyke Parks and started writing and experimenting. If the song was about Hawaii, he'd order Hawaiian food. He built a sandbox in his house and put the piano in it, so he could play barefoot in the sand. For a song about the Chicago fire, he turned up the heat in the rehearsal studio and had everyone wear fireman's hats.

It being the sixties, there were plenty of drugs around too. LSD was still legal that year.

So the Beach Boys came back from the tour and Brian played them the demos, and they all hated it. It didn't sound like the Beach Boys, they said. They didn't understand Parks' oddball lyrics. Meanwhile, an incident had spooked Brian - while they were recording the fire song, a building down the street actually caught fire, and he feared that their collective energy had somehow caused it. Another nail in the coffin came when Sgt. Pepper came out, and Brian, who had kind of been competing with the Beatles to out-creative them, became depressed that his album just wasn't as good - they had already won that round and he hadn't even thrown a punch.

The spiral of paranoia, depression and drugs killed the album. Wilson literally spent a year in his bedroom. Some of the more accessible cuts made it to another Beach Boys album but Smile was dead in the wading pool. Wilson was cut loose.

Wilson struggled on, an undiagnosed clinical depressive and borderline schizophrenic (he suffers from occasional auditory hallucinations, voices that say they will kill him) for a long time. Eventually in the nineties he met his most recent wife, who got him on the proper meds and he started making public appearances. He still wouldn't discuss SMILE, which he considered the most painful experience of his life. Then one day he was performing a one-off of HEROES AND VILLAINS at a tribute concert and someone in the band suggested he oughtta finally finish the thing and Brian Wilson said, "Yeah, that's a good idea." So in 2002 he scooped up his notes, put a band together and finally completed the damn thing.

Listening to it now, it's easy to see what scared the Beach Boys so much. I can't think of another musical work which is so alternately brilliant and beautiful, then corny and stupid, then inexplicably naive. For example, there is a song about vegetables and how good they are for you, with the surprisingly creepy lyric:

I threw away my candy bar and ate up the wrapper
And when they told me what I'd done I burst into laughter

If Mike Love is singing that it's kinda cute; but in the hands of a schizophrenic... you know what I'm sayin'.

And yet, the soaring one-of-a-kind harmonies and the sheer complexity of most of the music carry the day. There's about a dozen things in Smile that seem impossible for human beings to do, and yet they do it. In fact, they do it live in concert. The voices in Brian's head are also responsible for writing those tricky counter-rhythms, so they can't be all bad.

Watching it live you are also confronted with the face of Brian Wilson. Even now, with his masterpiece completed and his brain chemistry stabilized he looks like the saddest man who ever walked the earth. Even when he's enjoying himself. It's the face of a man for whom "Smile" isn't just an album title, it's a reminder on a post-it note. Perhaps it's not surprising that the work is similarly contradictory and fascinating.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Name-Calling You Can Believe In

I have to admit that a legitimate criticism of this blog might be that I spend most of my time here criticizing my opponents instead of offering something constructive. I feel a little guilty about that some time. Only amateurs whine like this. Thank God I'm not in charge of anything.

A member of the Republican National Committee told me Tuesday that when the RNC meets in an extraordinary special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party.”

When I asked if such a resolution would force RNC Chairman Michael Steele to use that label when talking about Democrats in all his speeches and press releases, the RNC member replied: “Who cares?”

Which pretty much sums up the attitude some members of the RNC have toward their chairman these days.

Steele wrote a memo last month opposing the resolution. Steele said that while he believes Democrats “are indeed marching America toward European-style socialism,” he also said in a (rare) flash of insight that officially referring to them as the Democrat Socialist Party “will accomplish little than to give the media and our opponents the opportunity to mischaracterize Republicans.”
Steele is wrong of course - it will allow the media to accurately characterize Republicans.

And it's an emergency session! If we don't officially codify these slurs right now, we'll never win back all those seats in 2010! They better not forget to officially misspell "Barney Fwank" or they'll just have to drop everything again next month.

I suspect that some time soon some guy will notice that playing to the base like this is just leading to a smaller base. And that guy will be called a RINO and forbade to attend meetings.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Told You Rush Is In Charge

Check out this interesting exchange on Hannity & Sean's show, between Hannity and Dick Morris! It concerns the completely outrageous remarks Wanda Sykes made at the WHCD dinner last weekend, about how Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker and other such frivolity.

HANNITY: Now there is a double standard. Now can you imagine if we go through this list here of — what if somebody called Barack Obama, compared him to a terrorist? What if somebody wished him ill? That he wouldn’t do well? [...]

MORRIS: He would be carted off in handcuffs. And they should be. No one should make a joke about the president dying and frankly no one should make a joke about someone in political life like that dying.
Putting aside the curious use of Hannity's use of "what if" someone compared the president to a terrorist (AYERS! AYERS! AYERS!) what's fascinating about this is the comparison of the President to Rush Limbaugh. Why not talk about Keith Olberman or Stephanie Miller? BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE AREN'T RUNNING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. 'Nuff said.

Plus the idea that they're endorsing a state where simply making a joke about our leaders should be enough to engender imprisonment - well, at least that's consistant.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too Satisfied for Politics

Yeah, you haven't seen a lot from yours truly lately. I'm just not outraged enough to put energy for this stuff.

My LASIK has taken just fine, no complications, and I like being able to see stuff. It's fun! I went to the karaoke bar last night to test my ability to read TV screens across the room - I sang DOCTOR MY EYES by Jackson Brown and LOOK SHARP by Joe Jackson.

This Saturday I'm flying to England for a week. If I wasn't already living in the best damn country on the face of the earth, (I was born, lucky me, in the land that I love) England is where I'd want to be. England swings like a pendulum do, you know.

Though it's true that I don't have someone to call my own, that only means I'm free to ask people out. And I'm pursuing a couple of very attractive leads. Plus I realized tonight that I'm no longer afraid of my ex-wife, and this is a rite of passage that all divorced men need to reach.

So I should care if some blogger criticizes Obama's choice of condiments? Whatevs dude. Life is too short.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Eyes of Daniel K

So yesterday I got mail from my Lasik eye doctor, a little DVD. I put is aside, assuming that it was post-op maintenance tips. I thought, "I got this stuff written down, I can watch the video later." So I waited until ths morning, while I was having breafast.


I gotta say, this looks even worse from the other side of my eye. Anyway, Kudos to Dr. Berg for his efficient and excellent work.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


As promised, here I am just 15 hours later, after a good nights sleep which followed a good afternoon's sleep. Valium, it turns out can do ANYthing.

I can report that the procedure is brief and extraordinarily unpleasant, but in the right hands (and machines) very effective. I can see! Last night before I went to bed I watched a little hi-def network TV and it looked hi-deffer than I've ever seen.

Well, I have to get ready for work. See ya!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I'm killing time outside the Barnes & Noble, waiting for my LASIK surgery. As you can see, I am wearing glasses.

Hopefully tomorrow you'll see another picture like this one only I will be smiling wider and not wearing glasses. It's also possible that it will be a picture of me with my eyes bandaged up, posted by my lawyers; but everything I've read so far suggests that's a remote possibility. I stand a better chance of getting the H1N1 virus.

Oh God, what my doctor HAS the H1N1 virus! I'll die of swine flu, blind and resentful. I bet I catch the ebola there too.

Well, I hope we see each other tomorrow.

(for more fun eye material, check out my podcast this week!)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Netflix Knows Me Better Than I Know Myself.


Other movies you might enjoy:

The Wedding Planner
Failure to Launch
Big Momma's House
Patch Adams
Okay, I can understand Monster-In-Law, but what the hell is up with the rest of this? And why all the Matthew McConaughey movies?

By the way, the only reason to see HITLER: THE LAST TEN DAYS is to see how Alec Guinness portrays Hitler. And it's basically Obi Wan Kenobi with a few gears missing.

Swine Quarantine

England has a list of people who are banned from the entering the country, held since October. They recently published it.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to publish the "name and shame" list -- which identifies 16 people banned since last October -- for the first time to clarify what behaviour Britain will not tolerate.

"I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country," she said.

"If you can't live by the rules that we live by ... we should exclude you from this country and, what's more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded," she told the GMTV broadcaster.

Between October and April the Home Office excluded 22 people for "fostering extremism or hatred" included preachers Abdullah Qadri Al Ahdal, Yunis Al Astal and Amir Siddique, said a Home Office statement.

Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal, Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky, former Ku Klux Klan leader Stephen Donald Black and neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe are also on the list, as is controversial radio host Michael Alan Weiner, also known as Michael Savage.
Thankfully I'm not on the list because me and my high school chum are traveling to London this month while the dollar is strong enough to fool us into thinking we can afford such a crazy thing.

But Michael Savage! Wow, is THAT gonna give him some material! My own feeling about Savage (nee Weiner) is that he's harmless, a kind of SNL parody of right-wing radio hosts. Even Joe The Plumber (nee Wurtzelbacher) won't quote Michael Savage. The only people who take him seriously are the kids in the black raincoats with rifles, and they'd find their twisted nourishment elsewhere if Savage wasn't available.

By the same token, it is therefore not particularly harmful to ban him. It wouldn't fly here because we guarantee freedom of speech, but England is more of a "right to speech" situation. And if you really are jonseing for Savagery over there, you can always buy his books or listen via the internet. Me, I'm jonesing for Rowan Atkinson in OLIVER.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Self-Regulating Circuit

Arlen Specter is already assuring people that he may no longer be a RINO, but he's certainly a Dino. So is this good news for the Republicans? Not so much.

There's a reason why the campaign was filled with dire predictions of Obama ruling from the far left - only a handful of Americans would like that. So it's been a real problem for the right when Obama sought compromise in the stimulus bill, and it was even worse when the Democrats gave in. A majority that moderates itself renders opposition unnecessary.

Personally, I wonder why the 2-party system is still important. The world is more complex than that. It's great for political theatre but the country isn't just right/left nowadays. It's not even right/left/center. It's right, left, center, right surround, left surround and perhaps an extra position for bass. Our political discourse is mixed for home entertainment systems now.